Is my bike too small? Would that explain hand pain?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Is my bike too small? Would that explain hand pain?

    Hi,

    I recently got a new 29'er and think i might have got the geometry a bit messed up when comparing.

    I feel like i am pushing forwards and there is pain on my outer palm. I thought this might be because i was too stretched out or the front end was too low so i took some pictures.

    Having looked at the pictures i think i got it wrong. I think i am too cramped and upright and its because the reach is too short. I think it is the bar pushing back against me.

    Here is the picture, ignore the decorating clothes sorry.

    Thanks, any advice would be great,

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Is my bike too small? Would that explain hand pain?-mebikefit.jpg  


  2. #2
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    That appears to small to me. You might be able to extend the reach with a longer stem a bit.

  3. #3
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    Looks pretty cramped. Which bike/size, and whats your height, inseam, and ape index?

  4. #4
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    Hi,

    thanks for the replies.

    I am 5ft7 and that is a small Cannondale Habit 5.

    I had spent so long looking at geo charts that i got this and a medium GT Sensor mixed up.

    My Inseam is around 29"

    The reach on the bike is 400mm. I thought it was around 430mm.

  5. #5
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    Way to small, a medium for sure, you’re not tall but you’re also not short.
    GG Megatrail 27.5 (Braaap!)
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hardingtrail View Post
    Hi,

    thanks for the replies.

    I am 5ft7 and that is a small Cannondale Habit 5.

    I had spent so long looking at geo charts that i got this and a medium GT Sensor mixed up.

    My Inseam is around 29"

    The reach on the bike is 400mm. I thought it was around 430mm.
    I'm your height and can pretty well ride either medium or small. You can likely make that work, but everybody is different. Moving to a 70mm stem and wide bars (unless they already are) would help.

    If you have the opportunity/ability to switch out with a medium that may be better though.

    Fwiw I'm on a Fezzari Abajo Peak M (435mm reach, 50mm stem, 780 bars).

    Sent from my Moto G (5) Plus using Tapatalk

  7. #7
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    I definitely would have put you on a medium. Cannondale's geometry is pretty conservative, so many of their bikes fit like a size smaller from another company. don't get too focused on the seated position on your bike, as standing weight balance and position is just as important, if not more so.

  8. #8
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    Hi,

    760mm bars on there now and I believe a 50mm stem.

    I could try a 70mm stem, worried it will just out my weight even more over the front.

    Was a replacement insurance bike and due to the pandemic I didn’t have a chance to size. I spent hours in the geo rye only to get this and a medium GT Sensor mixed up.

  9. #9
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    You can also get that 70mm stem with a 7 or 9* angle up. That's going to get some weight off your hands. A 15mm riser bar width good width will add more height and some space from the width if you go wider. You'll be more upright but more comfortable. A M would be the preferred route if possible.

  10. #10
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    at a certain point, making the bike longer and taller by changing the handlebar and stem is going to make it "fit" but will throw off the weight balance. it will make the bike comfy to ride like a cruiser but not stable and maneuverable on the trail.

    The Habit 5 geo I see listed shows a reach of 400mm, and ETT of 573mm. that's tiny! I would not recommend a bike that size for a rider any taller than 5'6" and even that would be a bit cramped.

    a bike that is too small is just too small. I don't think you're ever going to get that bike to fit and handle well because it's most likely just too small for you. putting a long stem on a bike that is too small is like cutting a hole in the front of your too-small sneakers so your toes can poke out.

    something that I have had to address on my own riding is personal strength. people get annoyed by this question, but how long and you hold a plank? I'd venture to guess that most riders have a weak core and tight hamstrings, which causes us to rely to heavily on our arms and hands to hold us up. if you have upper body pain- hands, wrists, elbows, neck, shoulders, back... core strength work will certainly not make it worse and might in fact help make it better.

  11. #11
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    Although I have put weight on lately, up until 3 mi the ago I was I. The gym every morning at 4.30am so my strength and core are quite good.

    I know my core could be strengthened though, I’m just worried if I try and make this fit, like you say, the manoeuvrability will be thrown out.

  12. #12
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    Too small. You need to move up size

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  13. #13
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    One other route to relieve hand pain is to go with Ergon grips. You rotate the grip body until your lower hand pad take your weight. Then lock it down. The Small GS1 Pro model is the right size.
    https://www.modernbike.com/ergon-gs1...grips-black-sm



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  14. #14
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    yeah, too small. My wife's bike is an XS and has a 390mm reach. Mine's a medium with 451mm reach, and I'm 5'8.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hardingtrail View Post
    I’m just worried if I try and make this fit, like you say, the manoeuvrability will be thrown out.
    it will. don't waste any more time trying to make that bike fit you. it's just too small. if you do something weird to shoehorn yourself into it, it's going to ride like crap.

  16. #16
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    Yep, agree with everyone that it’s just too small in reach.

    Can’t believe I spent so long researching and comparing geo to get these two mixed up. At least you all have backed up my worries.

    It’s a shame I couldn’t get out to try one at the time but my wife has RA so was critically extremely vulnerable and we were shielding.

    Guess it needs to go up for sale.

  17. #17
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    that sucks! however—good news—bicycles are in HIGH demand right now. people are buying out the stock in bike shops and department stores. people selling used bikes are reporting that they are selling them for way more than they expected to get. so you can probably sell your bike for just a little less than what you paid for it. you paid for this lesson, but it sounds like it didn't cost you that much in the end.

    bad news—it might be hard to find a new bike because of the phenomenon described above.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    that sucks! however—good news—bicycles are in HIGH demand right now. people are buying out the stock in bike shops and department stores. people selling used bikes are reporting that they are selling them for way more than they expected to get. so you can probably sell your bike for just a little less than what you paid for it. you paid for this lesson, but it sounds like it didn't cost you that much in the end.

    bad news—it might be hard to find a new bike because of the phenomenon described above.
    No kidding. Best time ever to sell.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  19. #19
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    Fingers crossed because all I want to do is get out riding with my little boy again.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hardingtrail View Post
    Hi,

    thanks for the replies.

    I am 5ft7 and that is a small Cannondale Habit 5.

    I had spent so long looking at geo charts that i got this and a medium GT Sensor mixed up.

    My Inseam is around 29"

    The reach on the bike is 400mm. I thought it was around 430mm.
    I'm 5'7" with a 29" inseam and ride a SC 5010 medium with 425mm reach and a SC Chameleon 29er medium with a 437mm reach. Sorry to say but a 400mm reach bike is really short.

  21. #21
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    Cannondale's size chart has 5'7" right in the middle of a size medium. Their max height for a small is 5'5".

    The bike is just too short. Everything is going to be a band aid fix until you can get the right length frame.

  22. #22
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    The way things are now you might want to trade rather than sell if that’s your only bike.
    Also second on the Ergon grips. Good medicine for old joints.
    Freedom is a shield against the negative consequences of the Foolishness of others.



  23. #23
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    My view is different: (a) The wider handlebar with rise (even up to 40 mm sounds good), as does a longer stem.

    (b) Ergon GP3 grips might help more than the ones in the photo.

    (c) the bike looks small, and if the OP makes it "fit" better with (a) and (b), any distortions to geometry might not hurt materially. He says all he wants to do is ride with his son. I presume he's not racing or jumping the bike either. Before I could afford a half decent bike I had all kinds of ill fitting bikes that I had so much fun with.

    That said, a bigger size would be first best option, but it may still not solve his hand pain. I just don't think his hand pain is caused by the bike size being too small.

    All said with absolutely zero qualifications in pain management, other than my own decades-long hand pain.

  24. #24
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    Jones H Bar Loop might provide the most hand positions to try, even it it might be a pain to set up.

  25. #25
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    Sorry, not trying to overrun the forums, but here's a couple of last thoughts: maybe a longer stem and handle bars with a large sweep. This guy on youtube occasionally has some really good ideas, and the video talks about sweep ameliorating hand pain.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=elPVFfhkfrE

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kitty13 View Post
    Jones H Bar Loop might provide the most hand positions to try, even it it might be a pain to set up.
    Normally I might say yes for the hand pain part, but given how aggressive the sweep is on these, it's going to put his hands and arms that much more back towards the saddle, which I'd think would only be worse. With a real long stem, the bike would just handle poor (would likely have to be even longer if he wanted to run this bar).
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  27. #27
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    OP - definitely take Jayem's thought's over mine; I am not being sarcastic.

  28. #28
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    Hi all, again thank you so much for the advice and helping to clarify what I thought.

    The bike is now up for sale and I’m hoping I can find a medium in stock somewhere in the uk.

  29. #29
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    maybe the handlebar angle makes your wrists twist too much. (probably you have a riser bar, try to spin it so the brakes and your wrists are straight

  30. #30
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    I'm a half inch taller and ride mediums.

    The bike does look a bit small for you. Optimally, a medium may be the best bet.
    But, you can try moving your saddle back to unload your arms a bit.
    It is hard to tell by the pic, but you look like your are very forward.
    I always set my saddle for pedaling performance which roughly approximates KOPS (a plumb line from the tibial tuberosity bisects pedal spindle). I know people love forward saddles/steep seat geo, but I hate it.
    Whether the angle is 76 or 70 degrees, my saddle ends up in the same place behind the BB.

    Oops, back on topic!

    As saddle moves back, you will need to drop the height a bit.
    You can also try more spacers under the stem, a riser stem or bars or further open up the hip angle and offload the hands

    Good luck!

    Bob

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by pedalinbob View Post
    The bike does look a bit small for you.
    OP has made it clear that he's doing the smart thing in the long run: selling this bike and buying something that fits. the compromises involved in shoe-horning a rider into a bike that is clearly too small are not worth the hassle.

  32. #32
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    Small sold and collected, medium ordered.

    Happy ending all round.

    Thanks all for the advice.

  33. #33
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    One other point I'll make: Hard to tell from the photos, but your wrists shouldn't be rolled back like that. Make sure your brake levers are not flat. They look almost parallel to the ground there. Your hands should follow your arms in s straight line when in the riding position. Your wrists are rolled back really far there. The back of your hand should never angle up away from your forearm like in your photo.

  34. #34
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    Yeah I saw that afterwards.

    I will say one thing, taking that picture really helped me see some things about my set up.

    My medium turned up today and I’m just getting it all dialled in.

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